The assessment of poorly performing doctors: The development of the assessment programmes for the General Medical Council's Performance Procedures

Lesley Southgate, Jim Cox, Timothy David, David Hatch, Alan Howes, Neil Johnson, Brian Jolly, Ewan Macdonald, Pauline McAvoy, Peter McCrorie, Joanne Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Modernization of medical regulation has included the introduction of the Professional Performance Procedures by the UK General Medical Council in 1995. The Council now has the power to assess any registered practitioner whose performance may be seriously deficient, thus calling registration (licensure) into question. Problems arising from ill health or conduct are dealt with under separate programmes. Methods: This paper describes the development of the assessment programmes within the overall policy framework determined by the Council. Peer review of performance in the workplace (Phase 1) is followed by tests of competence (Phase 2) to reflect the relationship between clinical competence and performance. The theoretical and research basis for the approach are presented, and the relationship between the qualitative methods in Phase 1 and the quantitative methods in Phase 2 explored. Conclusions: The approach is feasible, has been implemented and has stood legal challenge. The assessors judge and report all the evidence they collect and may not select from it. All their judgements are included and the voice of the lay assessor is preserved. Taken together, the output from both phases forms an important basis for remediation and training should it be required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Education
Volume35
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Competence
  • Licence to practise
  • Medical regulation, models
  • Peer review
  • Performance
  • Public participation
  • Quality of health care
  • Theoretical

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